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What Should Be One of My Chief Aims at Church?

The answer is quite simple: encouragement.

Now not just your own encouragement, which is important enough, but the encouragement of others. That’s the aim. That’s where the emphasis falls.

In a section like 1 Corinthians 12-14, where Paul addresses spiritual gifts, and the attendant misuse among the Corinthian saints, the apostle exhibits both a clear and sustained emphasis upon encouragement.

Here’s a sampling to make the point. Why are gifts given?

A Few Christian Voices on the 2016 Election

Recent thoughts from a few Christians on the state of the election:

Wayne Grudem, “Trump’s Moral Character and the Election.”
Douglas Wilson, “A Fight In a Leper Colony.”
John Piper, “A Tweet.”
Al Mohler, “The Briefing 10/19/16.”
James White, “My Thoughts on the State of our Culture and the 2016 Election.”

Mr. White reads a letter from President John Adams that is worth considering.  I will paste part of it here.

A Remarkable Outlook

Servants, be subject to your masters with all respect, not only to the good and gentle but also to the unjust. For this is a gracious thing, when, mindful of God, one endures sorrows while suffering unjustly. For what credit is it if, when you sin and are beaten for it, you endure? But if when you do good and suffer for it you endure, this is a gracious thing in the sight of God. For to this you have been called, because Christ also suffered for you, leaving you an example, so that you might follow in his steps. (1 Peter 2:18-21)

Peter’s words are utterly remarkable, if not baffling to many. Peter tells slaves(1) that they are to be subject to their masters with all respect (or fear), even the ones that are harsh and unjust.

Think about that. All respect. Even unto those that abuse you.

So You Want to Dive Into Podcasts and Audiobooks?

I am asked fairly often what it is I like to listen to. That is usually followed up with a question as to how one might go about doing such a thing.

Well, here recently, someone asked that very question, and when I finished writing up a brief overview of the process, I thought it would be good to post my musings here. Perhaps you too would like to dive into the world of podcasts and audiobooks.

If so, here is a simple how to:

3GT: Which Path?

The gents begin by discussing the contours of a credible profession of faith (with an eye on Trump).  Next comes a brief exploration of the ESV Permanent Text.  And lastly, we segue right into a discussion on the ethics of voting (and yes, with an eye on Trump again).

One Tasty Audio Pick… And Let’s Toss in a Movie for Fun

So the theme is ethical dilemmas.

Both the RadioLab episode and the movie I’m about to recommend present us with situations that unsettle our ethical equilibrium.  Sometimes life in a cursed, sin filled world create impossible situations.  Choice A is bad.  And so is choice B.  So which do you choose and why?  That’s where the conversation must inevitably turn.

So tune in to RadioLab’s powerful episode Playing God for an example of this problem.  And if that isn’t enough, check out the movie Eye in the Sky.  Both are well worth your attention.

Oh, and if you don’t know anything about the movie Eye in the Sky and you are interested (Warning: some language and a little bit of violence), don’t watch the trailer.  It gives too much away.  Just jump in.

Maybe I can get the 3GT gents to discuss these?…

We shall see.

Satan’s Opportune Time…

It is worth observing that when Christ overcame the temptations of Satan in the wilderness, neither grumbling like Israel of old, nor capitulating like Adam, Luke adds these striking words, “Now when the devil had ended every temptation, he departed from Him until an opportune time.” (Luke 4:13)

The activity of Satan was not complete. He still lurked in the shadows, looking for opportunities to assail Christ.

It is not hard to imagine his influence in the heart of Judas, nor his stirring up hatred among the Pharisees. He was likewise certainly at work in the crowds sowing confusion and blindness. But while all that is true, we see a familiar device at play during the crucifixion. Consider the refrain of the rulers and soldiers and the criminal hanging alongside Jesus.

The first sneered, “He saved others, let Him save Himself if He is the Christ, the chosen of God.” (Luke 23:35). The second echoed this sentiment by saying, “If you are the King of the Jews, save Yourself.” (vs 36). Lastly, the criminal blasphemed, “If you are the Christ, save Yourself and us.” (vs 39)

We have heard similar words before.  From where do they arise?

Think back to the manner in which Satan […]

Hebrews 8 and the Credobaptist Objection: A Reply

Paedobaptist: So let me get this straight, one your biggest objections to infant baptism rests on the understanding that the New Covenant is comprised of only the elect/regenerate?

Credo: That’s right. Hebrews 8 (citing Jeremiah 31) makes this plain. Everyone in the New Covenant knows the Lord. That’s what makes it unlike the Mosaic Covenant. The old covenant was more ethnic in nature. It included the children of Jews. As such, it was a covenant that included both the regenerate and unregenerate. This is contrasted with that of the New Covenant. Only genuine believers (the regenerate) make up the New Covenant. This fact is a crucial part of its newness!

Paedobaptist: But surely you grant that not everyone in the church is regenerate, right?

Credo: Of course. There are false believers and apostates. But they aren’t part of the New Covenant.

Paedobaptist: But many of these false believers are baptized, right?

Credo: Yes.

Paedobaptist: So they receive the sign of the covenant but are not part of the covenant community?

Credo: That’s right. Only the elect comprise the New Covenant.

Paedobaptist: But isn’t there an external administration of the covenant? In other words, don’t you believe that they are connected to the New Covenant in some sense?

Credo: They are […]

3GT: Trinity Talk

Other than a brief moment of chuckling at some pictures of Kyle in his younger years, we spent our time talking about the current scuffle over the Trinity.


Oh, yeah, and some pictures 🙂